Married to the Messenger: Perspectives of a Newly Planted WifeBy Nikki Hurt
August 10, 2021
It had been years since my husband Ben had preached a sermon and this was his first preaching opportunity since becoming the Pastor of Small Groups at our new church. We had Saturday evening services at the time followed by an additional two on Sunday mornings. I stayed home with our small children Saturday night for that first of three weekend services; praying earnestly for his message. When Ben got home that night, exhausted from his endeavors, he received a text from our senior pastor that in essence said, “Remove the entire section after your first point. It doesn’t fit the text.” In retrospect he could see it and even agreed; nonetheless he was profoundly discouraged by the last-minute edit. It was a trial by fire course on preaching and by Sunday morning he was smoldering a bit with feelings of failure while he got back into the ring for rounds two and three. And I, as his wife and closest companion, had a few ashes lying around my feet as well.
My husband, who ended up deeply grateful for this preaching lesson, planted our church in the spring of 2019. We began as a campus with live feed from our sending church, so while he did preach intermittently from day one, he did not begin his full-time stint of opening God’s Word every week until December of that year. I’ve now had over 18 months of sitting underneath his teaching full-time. The Lord has used this time to shape me just as much as it has him. Below are the three most important lessons I have learned thus far from being married to the messenger.
Priority of Preparation
I loved being married to a small groups pastor and being involved in local church ministry. The Lord had uniquely prepared me for its pressures through an intense season of our lives directly preceding his joining the staff at our church. But for the most part his role essentially functioned like an 8-to-5. Yes, he had to arrive early Sunday mornings and I would need to prepare our three, and then five, children for church on my own every week. Yes, there was always at least one night a week where he had counseling sessions or other responsibilities that took him away from home. But as a general rule, his time at home was fairly protected. Our days off were easily and strictly kept without much weighing in on his mental space.